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Tips to keep your family safe and healthy this winter

(NC) After a long, challenging year, experts are predicting a hard-hitting winter. If you’re worried about how to keep your family safe and healthy during a good-old-fashioned Canadian winter, as well as another wave of a pandemic, check out these essential survival tips: Make your home a haven Survival is just as much about your mental health as your physical, and one way to keep your mood bright is by adopting a Scandinavian approach to the season. Call it hygge or Lagom (dubbed 2020s version of hygge), it means making the most of extra time indoors by creating a cozy home you want to hang out in. Deck your place out with fuzzy blankets, fluffy pillows, illuminating candles and mementoes that remind you of happier times. Warm, relaxing touches will transform your living space into the perfect place to curl up with a book, watch a good movie or video chat with a friend. Escape with a drive The pandemic has helped us better appreciate simple pleasures, like taking a drive to check out some beautiful scenery or exploring a new park or trail. With increased travel restrictions, the car has truly become an even more essential tool for family fun. With the proper preparation and equipment, you can even enjoy a road trip during the winter. According to Lexus Academy driving expert, Michael Bernier, drivers should be sure to switch to winter tires once temperatures drop below 7°C and always keep a winter safety kit (flashlight, batteries, warm clothes, winter boots, blanket, and a small shovel) in their vehicle. “Remember to clear all the snow off your vehicle, including your roof and hood, before heading out to ensure maximum visibility,” Bernier adds. “And always practice safe winter driving by reducing your speed on icy or snowy roads, allowing extra space between vehicles, and giving yourself extra time to get to your destination.” Continue spending time outside The outdoors has been a lifeline for most of us throughout this past summer and fall, providing us with opportunities to exercise and socialize while maintaining our distance from those outside our social circle. In the winter, spending time in nature can boost your mood, and physical activity can also improve your immune system. To keep enjoying the outdoors safely, be sure to dress in layers, paying special attention to keeping your hands, feet and ears warm. Whether you’re walking around the block or tackling a tough hike, invest in boots with good tread to help prevent slips and falls. Always check the weather forecast before you head out, and drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration, which can happen no matter what the temperature.

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